QF flight search engine even dodgier? Please no!

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leadman

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Apr 11, 2012
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Hurray, Qantas fixed the spelling error, Baht looks much better than Bhat! I had to go in a check it myself, no notification (but really why would you bother on a very small issue).

Now to fix up some of the other parts of the site......
 

drsmithy

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I am a Qantas supporter - which is why such ridiculous things as this search "error" makes me cringe. Surely something like this must even be as far as illegal, given it is CLEARLY likely to catch out the consumer, selling them a product they clearly did not intend nor understand they were purchasing?

I would have thought it'd be a shoe-in for a false advertising claim.

I've come within the proverbial of buying one of these dodgy fares in the past, myself, and I'm a fairly seasoned traveller. It's not hard at all to imagine someone booking their own flights for the first time being deceived, and getting a nasty surprise at the airport (or in the confirmation email if they're lucky).

At the very least there needs to be a policy of cancelling such purchase without any penalties, regardless of what the fare conditions might be.
 

Bigtones

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Yes this is an excellent point to bring up as personally I am sick of it too. It's not just a small percentage or one off when you book its 90% of the overseas flights when it comes to award bookings, the long part of the journey is usually in Y but pay in J points. I think the ACCC needs to look at this.
 

Jo145

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One problem I've had of late while researching a holiday for next year is that the site won't let me book a flexi economy both ways ... really odd and not consistent from one day to the next. I could understand if I was trying to book totally different levels of economy but not the same level.
 

lindat44

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I came across this today as well:

View attachment 97661

It prices as a First class award at 152,000 points.


I have just recently booked this flight for friends through Doha to Paris and had to use the First Class amount of points. Unfortunately due to the scarce availability for FF points flights for Business we elected to take it. My booking for the same flights were made through Asia Miles, using the Qantas selection and the same result. A waste of hard earned points! Is there somewhere to complain about this where we will be heard?
 

Mattg

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I have just recently booked this flight for friends through Doha to Paris and had to use the First Class amount of points. Unfortunately due to the scarce availability for FF points flights for Business we elected to take it. My booking for the same flights were made through Asia Miles, using the Qantas selection and the same result. A waste of hard earned points! Is there somewhere to complain about this where we will be heard?

Just to clarify, did you end up getting seats in Business or First class? And was the booking made via Qantas or Asia Miles?
 

lindat44

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Just to clarify, did you end up getting seats in Business or First class? And was the booking made via Qantas or Asia Miles?

Friends booking was with Qantas and given Business Class seats
My booking was with Asia Miles (selecting Qantas travel) and given Business Class seats also. Both of us paid points (and I imagine relevant taxes) for First Class.
To clarify, when booking with Asia Miles you select which Airline you want to fly - I selected Qantas.
 

Mattg

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Friends booking was with Qantas and given Business Class seats
My booking was with Asia Miles (selecting Qantas travel) and given Business Class seats also. Both of us paid points (and I imagine relevant taxes) for First Class.
To clarify, when booking with Asia Miles you select which Airline you want to fly - I selected Qantas.

If you paid for First and received Business class on ALL flights, then you would have a case. If the flights are a mixture of First and Business, then in many cases the airline has the right to charge you for First class on all sectors.

The first place to complain would be the airline with which you booked the award ticket (which sounds like it's Cathay Pacific in your case?). If you are not satisfied with the outcome, there is always the Airline Consumer Advocate - but this only covers Australian airlines.
 

lindat44

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Thanks Mattg, I will go through Cathay Pacific for mine and Qantas for my friends. Do you know the best way to contact Qantas so it goes to the relevant department?
 

Mattg

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Thanks Mattg, I will go through Cathay Pacific for mine and Qantas for my friends. Do you know the best way to contact Qantas so it goes to the relevant department?

The traditional channel would be to contact Customer Care, but honestly you're much more likely to get a timely response these days by sending them a private message on Facebook or Twitter.
 

The Astronomer

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On more than one occasion I have booked a fare using the 'more flexible' option on the website, with the intention of having a flex fare for the entire return trip from Australia to Thailand, including the domestic trips LSTSYD outward, and vice versa inward. At the bottom of the booking page appeared 'Fare type:flex'. However, after paying for the booking and examining the sectors in my account, two of the sectors have been booked as a red e-deal, not flex. What is particularly puzzling is that these two sectors have been LSTMEL and MELLST. (Qantas does not fly directly from LST to SYD so the LSTSYD trips are two sectors.). To their credit, after I contacted them they courteously fixed the problem this time around and have adjusted both those LST flights up to H. Last time, they did not, and insisted insisted on giving me only 10 SC for LSTMEL and MELLST instead of 20. An interesting point this time is that they commented that for the fare to be all H, I would have had to pay another $28 (which they waived on this occasion). But nowhere on the site does that slightly higher fare appear, nor does it state that some sectors may not be in H, and I have yet to have it explained to me what 'More Flexible' means as compared with 'Flexible'.
 

Mattg

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It would be great if Qantas displayed the fare class (i.e. Y/H/B/N/Q etc.) when making the booking! That would make it much easier to spot these kinds of errors.
 

lindat44

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After contacting both Qantas and Asia miles for the 2 bookings we made (without having to read further up, we also got the error that seats would be business not first) It appears we are actually on the first class flight. Qantas ticket says business but seat selection shows row 1 and baggage allowance is first class allowance. Both Qantas and Asia miles say we are definitely First Class. So the error message must be a glitch on the website and not the seat classification.
 

mel1

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This "your flight will be in economy" thing has bugged me for years. I do not consider it a glitch but false advertising. And re this one, lindat44, are you sure there is actually a First Class on the Jo'burg to Doha plane? If not, your seat Row 1 would be in Business. I know there is no first class from Jo'burg to Australia...
 

lindat44

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This "your flight will be in economy" thing has bugged me for years. I do not consider it a glitch but false advertising. And re this one, lindat44, are you sure there is actually a First Class on the Jo'burg to Doha plane? If not, your seat Row 1 would be in Business. I know there is no first class from Jo'burg to Australia...

Mel, that wasn't my flight details, I was just reply to that. Our flight is Sydney - Doha - Paris on A380 where there is first class. The message about the flight being in business was wrong in this case.
 

GaryBne

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a remedy?

Around two years ago (and discussed here) I found an annoying glitch in the QF pricing. From memory, prices for identical dates, flights (BNE-MNL-BNE) and class booked online were
· Full payment on card $1,300
· Cash outbound, Classic return $1,700 + 40,000 points. (some “reward”!)
What was happening was when on the same booking, I changed one leg to Classic, the price for the other leg went sky high.

· Booking two separate tickets BNE-MNL cash and a completely separate booking MNL-BNE Classic ( again same, date flights and class) then the total cost was $1,500.
· BUT booking a flight out of MNL required one to turn up at the MNL office within a few days to show the credit card used. BUT what if it was all on points, including fees? Same rule. But what if I lived in BNE? Don’t care – same rule!

My Don Quixote gland kicked in. Some staff could see what was happening and agreed it made no sense. Some made feeble excused that made even less sense. One took it to trainers and supervisors for help. This went on for weeks.

Along the way we retested. Different dates, different destinations etc. Same crazy pricing punishment for daring to book a reward flight.
But staff came up blank. So I took it, all documented to the Airline Industry Ombudsman.

Turns out that the prices were being loaded incorrectly – and this was widespread. That’s a mistake and forgivable. What was unforgivable was when QF staff could see it, reported it and they too were being ignored. I suggested that whoever was doing the ignoring of their own team needed to be shot at dawn.

That’s a long story to bring us back to today’s issue:
1. Its likely one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing
2. Its likely that calling QF staff to explain will go nowhere – they get ignored just as much as we get ignored
3. The Airline Ombudsman is there to fix this nonsense, and is the only way to get this fixed. Your complaint and follow up would make the world a slightly better place… for all of us.
4. The more the Ombudsman gets results that are highly visible to senior management, the more likely QF will finally introduce some quality control on how data is loaded onto the online booking system.

any takers?
 
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